Menachem Mendel

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Archive for Israeli Culture

Prioritizing Treatment of the Wounded-The Israeli Experience

A few months ago there was a lot of discussion in Israel about comments made by the Director General of Magen David Adom. Eli Bin said that When I see my enemy wounded I no longer treat him as a terrorist, but as a human being. He has surrendered; he no longer poses a threat, […]

Micah Goodman on Israeli Judaism 2.0

Micah Goodman has written an interesting series of articles (Hebrew) in Musaf Shabbat on the future of Judaism, Religious Zionism, and Jewish law in the State of Israel. (Parts I, II, III) Hopefully Micah will write at least a summary in English. Tomer Persico has written two posts (Hebrew) about the series. Below is an […]

Yair Rosenblum’s Unetaneh Tokef

Unetaneh Tokef is one of the central prayers for the Yamim Noraim, and one of the most familiar tunes for it is that which was written by Yair Rosenblum. Rosenblum is one of the most important figures in the history of Israeli music and in 1990 he was living on Kibbutz Beit Hashitah in the […]

Shabbat Pamphlets Make the Evening News

In almost every Israeli synagogue you can find alonei shabbat, pamphlets or handouts on the weekly Torah portion. In the past few years things have gone beyond pamphlets that just discuss the parashah, and there are now available what amount to small magazines that targeted towards the religious public. See here (Hebrew) for a comprehensive […]

Tisha B’Av in the Historical Israeli Press

Rafi Mann has posted (Hebrew) a nice selection of articles from Israel newspapers about Tisha B’av observances and commemorations going back to the 1940s. He also addresses the changes that occurred post-1967.

How Many Reform and Conservative Jews in israel

Tomer Persico brings (Hebrew) some interesting numbers from a recent poll by the Knesset TV Channel. People were asked “Do you feel attached to one of the denominations in Judaism? If so, which one?” The answers may surprise some people: Reform 6%; Conservative 6%; Orthodox 35%; no denomination 45%. A previous poll from 2009 put […]

Interview with Yoav Sorek on a New Israeli Jewishness

I recommend this interview in English with Yoav Sorek on a “New Definition of Israeli Jewishness.”

Hoshana Like You’ve Never Seen it Before

A very nice modern interpretation of a traditional Jewish liturgical prayer.

The Israel Prize 2014

At yesterday’s Israel Prize ceremony many outstanding individuals were honored. Three of the honorees were Prof. Shamma Friedman, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, and Rabbinit Adina Bar Shalom. To learn about Prof. Friedman and his contribution to the study of Talmud, read this interview with Yitz Landes. See these articles about Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein by Yair Rosenberg and Elli Fischer. […]

Purim in Israel Under Austerity

While Israel as a start-up nation is the latest rage, people shouldn’t forget that for a number of years after the founding of the state, Israeli citizens lived under a regime of austerity and rationing, in Hebrew the צנע (Tzena). The amount of food and clothing that a person could buy was limited and determined […]

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